Keep

donjonmastiocastle keepgreat towerkeepskeep-and-baileymain keepbergfrittowerBergfried
A keep (from the Middle English kype) is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility.wikipedia
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Motte-and-bailey castle

mottemotte and baileymotte-and-bailey
The first keeps were made of timber and formed a key part of the Motte-and-Bailey castles that emerged in Normandy and Anjou during the 10th century; the design spread to England as a result of the Norman invasion of 1066, and in turn spread into Wales during the second half of the 11th century and into Ireland in the 1170s.
A motte and bailey castle is a fortification with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised area of ground called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade.

Castle

castlesMedieval castlefortification
A keep (from the Middle English kype) is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility.
Early castles often exploited natural defences, lacking features such as towers and arrowslits and relying on a central keep.

Bergfried

keepbergfritmain tower
In Spain, keeps were increasingly incorporated into both Christian and Islamic castles, although in Germany tall fighting towers called bergfriede were preferred to keeps in the western fashion.
Its defensive function is to some extent similar to that of a keep (also known as a donjon) in English or French castles.

Château de Vincennes

VincennesCastle of VincennesChateau de Vincennes
In France, the keep at Vincennes began a fashion for tall, heavily machicolated designs, a trend adopted in Spain most prominently through the Valladolid school of Spanish castle design.
A donjon tower, 52 meters high, the tallest medieval fortified structure of Europe, was added by Philip VI of France, a work that was started about 1337.

Dungeon

oubliettedungeonsbottle dungeon
The 12th-century French came to term them a donjon, from the Latin dominarium "lordship", linking the keep and feudal authority.
The word dungeon comes from French donjon (also spelled dongeon), which means "keep", the main tower of a castle.

Bamburgh Castle

BamburghBebbanburgBamborough Castle
For example, in 1464 during the Wars of the Roses, the keep in the Bamburgh Castle, previously considered to be impregnable, was defeated with bombards.
Henry II probably built the keep as it was complete by 1164.

Château de Langeais

LangeaisChateau de LangeaisDonjon de Foulques Nerra
During the 10th century, a small number of stone keeps began to be built in France, such at the Château de Langeais: in the 11th century, their numbers increased as the style spread through Normandy across the rest of France and into England.
After the unsuccessful attack, the now-ruined stone keep was built; it is one of the earliest datable stone examples of a keep.

White Tower (Tower of London)

White Tower(originally whitewashed) White Towerhis tower
Important early English and Welsh keeps such as the White Tower, Colchester, and Chepstow were all built in a distinctive Romanesque style, often reusing Roman materials and sites, and were almost certainly intended to impress and generate a political effect amongst local people.
The White Tower is a central tower, the old keep, at the Tower of London.

Hedingham Castle

Castle HedinghamHedinghamcastle
The interior of the keep at Hedingham could certainly have hosted impressive ceremonies and events, but contained numerous flaws from a military perspective.
Hedingham Castle, in the village of Castle Hedingham, Essex, is arguably the best preserved Norman keep in England.

Shell keep

curtain wallstone keep
The Anglo-Normans and French rulers began to build stone keeps during the 10th and 11th centuries; these included Norman keeps, with a square or rectangular design, and circular shell keeps.
In English castle morphology, shell keeps are perceived as the successors to motte-and-bailey castles, with the wooden fence around the top of the motte replaced by a stone wall.

Scarborough Castle

Scarboroughcastle
They were also relatively slow to erect, due to the limitations of the lime mortar used during the period – a keep's walls could usually be raised by a maximum of only 12 feet (3.6 metres) a year; the keep at Scarborough was not atypical in taking ten years to build.
Much of the building work occurred between 1159 and 1169, when the three-storey keep was built and a stone wall replaced the wooden palisade protecting the inner bailey.

Chepstow Castle

Chepstowcastlethe castle
Important early English and Welsh keeps such as the White Tower, Colchester, and Chepstow were all built in a distinctive Romanesque style, often reusing Roman materials and sites, and were almost certainly intended to impress and generate a political effect amongst local people.
Despite this, it is not a defensively strong castle, having neither a strong keep nor a concentric layout.

Colchester Castle

ColchesterColchester Castle MuseumCastle Park
Important early English and Welsh keeps such as the White Tower, Colchester, and Chepstow were all built in a distinctive Romanesque style, often reusing Roman materials and sites, and were almost certainly intended to impress and generate a political effect amongst local people.
At one and a half times the size of the ground plan of the White Tower, Colchester's keep of 152 x has the largest area of any medieval tower built in Britain or in Europe.

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle MuseumNorwich Castle Museum and Art GalleryNorwich
Norwich Castle, for example, included elaborate blind arcading on the outside of the building and appears to have had an entrance route designed for public ceremony, rather than for defence.
The castle was used as a prison for felons and debtors from 1220, with additional buildings constructed on the top of the motte next to the keep.

Windsor Castle

WindsorWindsor Palace Windsor Castle's Brunswick Tower
Although the circular design held military advantages over one with square corners, as noted above these really mattered from only the end of the 12th century onwards; the major reason for adopting a shell keep design, in the 12th century at least, was the circular design of the original earthworks exploited to support the keep; indeed, some designs were less than circular in order to accommodate irregular mottes, such as that found at Windsor Castle.
The keep, called the Round Tower, on the top of the motte is based on an original 12th-century building, extended upwards in the early 19th century under architect Jeffry Wyatville by 30 ft (9 m) to produce a more imposing height and silhouette.

Fortified tower

round towerdefensive towerwall tower
A keep (from the Middle English kype) is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility.
keep or the bergfried.

Launceston Castle

Launcestoncastle
Restormel Castle is a classic example of this development, as is the later Launceston Castle; prominent Normandy and Low Country equivalents include Gisors and the Burcht van Leiden – these castles were amongst the most powerful fortifications of the period.
Much of the castle defences remain, including the motte, keep and high tower which overlook the castle's former deer park to the south.

Orford Castle

Orfordcastlecastle of Orford
By the end of the 12th century, England and Ireland saw a handful of innovative angular or polygonal keeps built, including the keep at Orford Castle, with three rectangular, clasping towers built out from the high, circular central tower; the cross-shaped keep of Trim Castle and the famous polygonal design at Conisborough.
The well-preserved keep, described by historian R. Allen Brown as "one of the most remarkable keeps in England", is of a unique design and probably based on Byzantine architecture.

The Castle, Newcastle

Castle KeepNewcastle CastleNewcastle
Despite these new designs, square keeps remained popular across much of England and, as late as the 1170s, square Norman great keeps were being built at Newcastle.
The most prominent remaining structures on the site are the Castle Keep, the castle's main fortified stone tower, and the Black Gate, its fortified gatehouse.

Conisbrough Castle

Conisborough CastleConisboroughConisbrough
By the end of the 12th century, England and Ireland saw a handful of innovative angular or polygonal keeps built, including the keep at Orford Castle, with three rectangular, clasping towers built out from the high, circular central tower; the cross-shaped keep of Trim Castle and the famous polygonal design at Conisborough.
Hamelin and his son William rebuilt the castle in stone, including its prominent 28 m-high keep.

Framlingham Castle

Framlinghama castleCastle of Framlingham
One such design was the concentric approach, involving exterior walls guarded with towers, and perhaps supported by further, concentric layered defenses: thus castles such as Framlingham never had a central keep.
Its replacement, constructed by Roger Bigod, the Earl of Norfolk, was unusual for the time in having no central keep, but instead using a curtain wall with thirteen mural towers to defend the centre of the castle.

Quadrangular castle

Courtyard castlequadrangularcourtyard style
The quadrangular castle design that emerged in France during the 13th century was another development that removed the need for a keep.
There is no keep and frequently no distinct gatehouse.

Chemise (wall)

chemiseapron wallchemise wall
Shell keeps were sometimes further protected by an additional low protective wall, called a chemise, around their base.
In medieval castles the chemise (French: "shirt") was typically a low wall encircling the keep, protecting the base of the tower.

Goodrich Castle

Goodrich
Castles had needed additional living space since their first emergence in the 9th century; initially this had been provided by halls in the bailey, then later by ranges of chambers alongside the inside of a bailey wall, such as at Goodrich.
In the middle of the 12th century the original castle was replaced with a stone keep, and was then expanded significantly during the late 13th century into a concentric structure combining luxurious living quarters with extensive defences.

Gatehouse

lodgegate lodgegate tower
In England, gatehouses were also growing in size and sophistication until they too challenged the need for a keep in the same castle.
In some castles, the gatehouse was so strongly fortified it took on the function of a keep, sometimes referred to as a "gate keep".